Ashley + Mark tied the knot on January 9, 2016 in a cozy wintry wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC. January should be the new June in North Carolina for weddings- the cooler weather (and lack of nasty humidity!) allowed for some lovely outdoor portraits. Even their puppy, Olivia, agrees, who made a cameo appearance in many of the portraits. :)
Read the Q&A with this sweet couple, featured below, to learn more about their wedding inspiration and photography experience! To view all of the photos from their wedding and order prints, please visit their gallery on my online print shop!
1. What are some of your favorite things about your partner? How were these attributes expressed using or leading up to your wedding?
We wrote our own vows for the ceremony that included what we loved about each other and what led us to committing to spend the rest of our lives together.
2. What was most important to you in planning your wedding?
Making sure that we stayed true to what we wanted. We wanted it to be a big party for our friends and family and didn't want to get stuck in doing certain wedding traditions just because it is what everyone else does. We wanted the music, food, and drinks to be unique and out of the ordinary, so we went with a cover band (who rocked!), for beer selection we only chose ones from North Carolina, and the food was definitely not the standard wedding menu (i.e. chicken and waffles on a stick.)
3. Are there any details or moments from your wedding that are particularly special to you? (E.g., you wore your momma's dress, your partner unexpectedly serenaded you, there was a double rainbow all across the sky…)
Ashley- For me, it was unexpectedly the wedding ceremony. When I had thought about my wedding I never thought the ceremony would end up being my favorite part. Before everyone came I got a chance to go upstairs and see it all decorated. It was so unbelievably beautiful and perfect that I was speechless and couldn't control my emotions. Every part of our ceremony was truly us from the acoustic songs played to our vows that we each wrote.
Mark- My favorite part was seeing everyone who I care about in the same place. It was great just having all our family and friends in one place. Also our first look was very emotional to me. I'm not really an emotional guy…but when I got to see Ashley in her dress for the first time I teared up a little. Everything right was in that moment.
4. What drew you to my photography style? What was it like to work with me?
Courtney's photography looks very authentic and truly captures the spirit and emotions of what is happening in the moment. Sometimes wedding photography can appear staged. Of course you need some posed portraits, but some of the best photos I've seen from weddings is when the person doesn't realize they are being photographed. Courtney and her second shooter were great to work with! They rolled with whatever was going on and went along with whatever goofy thing we wanted to do. Courtney knew the venue well, and I like where she put us for "the first look."
5. What was the silliest moment of your wedding day? The sweetest?
Ashley- Silliest was when our ring-bearer/nephew decided he wanted to play ring around the rosy around our officiant's legs (officiant is also our nephew's father) while he tried to conduct the ceremony. Everyone was laughing as family members were trying to hell him to stop and get control of him. It definitely lightened the mood. Sweetest was watching Mark say his vows to me. I could tell how much effort he put into writing and trying to memorize them. Mark doesn't get emotional very often, and it was so special to see him get that way during our vows.
Mark- Yeah the silliest part was probably my nephew during the ceremony. Another crazy moment was when my groomsmen had me do a keg stand behind the bar while no one was looking. Hopefully my in-laws don't read this. The sweetest is a tie between Ashely and I exchanging our vows and the Father/Daughter dance. You could see how much that moment meant to Ashley and her dad.
6. What is the first thing you want to do with the images? Wallpaper the hallway? Internet fame?
We are so excited to see the photos! Especially since it goes by so quickly, and it's really difficult to keep track of what is going on throughout the night. We definitely plan to print many of them and put them throughout our home. Probably create some sort of wall collage. We will also be sending them out as gifts.
7. What is next for you as a couple? Any big plans?
We have big plans in the works currently! We are searching for a home to buy in Durham and are planning to go on our honeymoon to France some time in May.
Ashley + Mark, thank you for being such fun and laid-back clients. I enjoyed every minute with you (and your cute pup!) and hope that these photos memorialize your celebration for years to come!
Venue: The Cotton Room
Second Photographer: Bri Brough
Officiant: Jonathan Weber
Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade
Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung
Flower Girl Dresses: made by groom's mother
Groomsmen Clothing: Men's Wearhouse
Florist: Tre Bella
Dessert: Cinda's Creative Cakes
Catering: Triangle Catering
Invites: Wedding Paper Divas
Band: The Scarlet Band